The Best and Worst Footwear for Diabetics

Besides maintaining blood sugar level to normal, one common problem of people with diabetes is striving for the right footwear. Being familiar with the pathophysiology of diabetes, selecting the wrong footwear can precipitate foot problems such as infection and ulcers – or even worse, amputation. This article will discuss on the best and worst footwear for people with diabetes.


Foot Problem in Diabetes

Any person who is affected with diabetes has higher chance of developing foot trouble – pain, ulcers and injury. When the condition gets worse, diabetic individuals cannot wear just any type of shoes. More often than not, they will end up going to podiatrists (or “foot doctors”) to design their own comfort shoes.


Wrong choice of footwear in diabetes can lead to a number of foot problems including ulcers, blisters and at times may affect the bones of the feet. When breaks in skin integrity occur, healing can be longer than normal.


Best and Worst Footwear for Diabetics

To be clear on facts, diabetic individuals can still wear conventional, expensive footwear provided they have controlled blood sugar levels – even women can wear heels too!


So what kind of shoes that is worst for individuals with diabetes? The answer is flip-flops. The fact that flip-lops do not have a shoe box, don’t have arch support as well as straps, the feet are exposed to injury and they are prone to irritation.

On the other hand, the right diabetic shoe is any footwear that is made from soft leather, has a rounder and has deep, wider toe box. Examples of this footwear are running and walking shoes. Unfortunately, diabetic shoes force individuals to forget their most expensive shoes and turn to no-so-unfashionable shoes. Further, diabetic individuals with significant deformities and other serious health problems are even more prescribed with more therapeutic type of footwear. For instance, individuals with significant pressures on foot are obliged to wear “depth shoes” in order to redistribute the pressure.


The Right Time to Buy Footwear for Diabetes

Medical experts advised that individuals with extreme foot problems secondary to diabetes should follow strict guidelines on wearing the right medical shoes. Otherwise, they will end up suffering from bone breakdown, hard-to-treat wounds and worse, infection.


The best time to look for diabetic shoes is when:

  1. Blood sugar level goes uncontrollable;
  2. Presence of foot deformities
  3. Signs and symptoms of impaired circulation


Other than getting the right shoes, the following are ways to protect a diabetic foot.

  • Do not go barefoot.
  • Buy soft leather shoes.
  • Choose laced footwear over loafers. Laced shoes fit better and provide more support.
  • Make sure soles are highly cushioned.
  • Buy shoes at the end of the day.
  • Don your socks when fitting the shoes.
  • When wearing the new shoes, inspect the skin regularly for cuts and blisters.
  • Know when to replace old shoes. If heels start to collapse or the inner lining starts to wear, buy a new one.


Rule of thumb: the distance between your longest toe and the tip of your shoes should be half of your thumb’s width.

About the Author:

Sarah Grace Del Rosario is a fashion and lifestyle blogger from The Thrifty Senyorita. Aside from blogging, she is also currently collaborating with in sharing fashion and lifestyle tips.

1 thought on “The Best and Worst Footwear for Diabetics

  1. As I am diabetic I was not aware of the foot problems which we can suffer. Thanks Sarah for the great information! Definitely taking your recommendations.

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